Step family problems(16 Posts)
We have big issues in our household at the moment and I feel I want to leave. My partner and I have been together 6 years he has a 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship and we have a 3 year old son together and are expecting another baby in May. The problems revolve around his daughter - however she is not the problem, he is. We have her every Thursday and alternate weekends (thurs-mon) plus 50/50 on school holidays. The main problem is that he expects me to do all the running around after her, so school runs, after school clubs, collecting bits from her mums etc, which I have been doing for a number of years, however I am now starting to feel resentment about this for the following reasons - he has said on more than one occasion that it's the least I can do as he puts a roof over our heads (bare in mind I work too, although part time still 25hrs pw). There have been issues of rudeness and lies from his daughter but he just makes excuses for her and all issues must be my fault he won't hear any different. nothing I do for her is good enough, she always wants more and he always gives it to her.
I have recently requested that he put her in after school club on Thursdays, but have said that I will continue to collect her alternate Fridays and take her to school in the mornings. This is not good enough for him and he has now accused me not liking his daughter, bullying her and trying to force him to love our children more than her and not to have her on Thursdays anymore, which is not true, although I have gone as far to say that if he wants to have on these days then he needs to do some of the leg work - his response is that if he has to pay for her to go to after school club then he will cancel our 3 year old sons swimming lessons to pay for it - which I think is disgusting. Also today I have come home to find one of our holiday pictures taken down - it was a professional picture which was done of me, my partner and our son, SD was not on the holiday with us she had gone away with her mum. When I asked why he said that it was out of order to have the picture up because SD was not in it - although there are lots of pictures of her up In the house, I feel so upset that he thinks we can't have a lovely picture of us up I even asked him why he bothered to purchase the picture if we couldn't put it up. I'm so lost upset (hormonal) and I want to walk out an never come back - is he being as out of order as I think or am I just a hormonal mess - advice please.
I see both sides TBH I think your dp wants his dd to be seen as part of the family unit especially because she is at the house so much. Could her behaviour be down to jealsously because you're having another baby? Why do you want the after school club for a break? Spend time with DS maybe highlight the reasons why I'm guessing your maybe struggling working DS and being pregnant.
I get his point that it might appear she's not wanted if your at home with your DS but I think it's important you explain your reasons. I highly suspect that his dd has commented on the picture and feeling abit insecure about her place which is why maybe your dp is being defensive.
Your right you SD is not the problem your H and his attitude is. Why do you need the after school club is this so you H can pick her up after work. What is going to happen once you have the baby is he still going to expect you to run around with a newborn and a little boy, does your H doing anything with SD when she is with you. I understand why you want to leave are you happy in other aspects of your marriage
Wow he sounds awful and controlling. It's like he thinks you should be kissing his fucking feet and doing as you're told because he works and you don't. You sound very unappreciated by him so I don't blame you for feeling resentful.
And cancelling your 3 year old's swimming lessons in order to pay for the after school club- I agree that is disgusting. He is trying to emotionally blackmail you. Can't he save money elsewhere in order to pay for it? Does he smoke/drink/do a "hobby"?
Honestly though, his attitude stinks. I don't blame you for wanting to leave.
Run for the hills! How have you let yourself have kids with this man?! Your job is not to pretend to be you sd's mum when she is at yours! She has 2 parents! Your DH being one of them! He is responsible for caring for his dd- you are supposed to just be an extra pair of (loving, welcoming, supportive) hands.
Sorry I have just realised you work part time. My
point still stands though. The whole "I put a roof over your head so do as you're told" mantra.
What brought on the sudden change though if you were ok with the situation before?
There is no right or wrong in terms of the dynamics of a step-family. On one hand SP doing nothing at all towards helping with their SC (my situation), whilst others doing exactly the same as they would do for their own children. What matters though is to be in agreement and both happy with it.
The issue here seems to be with your growing resentment and wanting to change an agreed arrangement to suit your own feelings. Ideally, you should have discussed your feelings with your OH and then both come up with solutions to release your negative feelings rather than you starting to want to impose changes to the routine.
The outcome of this is that your OH feels that you are rejecting his daughter and therefore is reacting defensively and over compensating.
Take a step back and reassess why the routine you set up is not working for you any longer. Is it because you are exhausted with your pregnancy? That would make total sense, but if it is, then tackle the issue with him from this perspective, rather than looking at solutions that 'punishes' his daughter.
Thanks for your responses, all of which I am taking on board.
This is not all of a sudden, there has been discussion for a while about him doing more in terms of parenting her when she is with us rather than just doing the fun stuff but it just doesn't happen. I feel there is resentment from SD too as I have to do all the 'parenting' including rush her along in the mornings to get her to school in time, encourage her to make her bed and tidy up after herself, get her to read her book, I have to rush her to after school activities, I have to trapse her around to do the shopping, I have to leave her to entertain her little brother whilst I cook dinner/ wash clothes/ tidy the house - then when daddy gets home it's all playing and games with him - I feel as though I am being set up as wicked step mother. In addition yes I am exhausted at almost 7 months pregnant, working and running around after a 3 year old I don't actually get a day off or time to do anything for myself.
I'm not suggesting after school club to punish her, my son goes to nursery on the days I work, not as a punishment, but so that I can work. I have made the suggestion so that he is able to collect her which she would like, also so that he actually has to be a parent ie make sure he gets there on time and plans around his child and so that I am not constantly running around. The suggestion was also made In the hope that some of the resentment would subside on all sides and hopefully make things a bit better for everyone. Although seems as though that was wishful thinking.
He puts a roof over your head bloody hell, what century is he living in?!
So he is the boss and you are the nanny and the scullery maid??. Fuck that. .
He is the one not treating all dc the same. . And he is the one pushing for another exw. .
Yes absolutely, he's being unreasonable, I mean what are you....his child's nanny! He is playing the DisneyDad game, all nasty stuff like, being hurried, making beds, tidying after himself coming from you making you the bad guy, and all the fun stuff like games etc coming from dad, making him the good guy.....that's not bloody fair, besides which you should not be expected to do all this running around, especially during your pregnancy!
Sit him down, and tell him how this all this makes you feel, if he's dismissive, unconcerned and not inclined to change, then yes....you do need to re-think your future!
Well he can't do anything to help when he is at work, which I expect is what he is saying so what you need to be clear about is what more he can do when he is at home. What time does he leave in the morning and what time is he back? It sounds like it only applies on Thursday and Fridays since the rest is week-end hours.
So one week, we are only talking about one evening a week, it's not that much, yet you think she should go to clubs then for the sake a few hours? Why don't you pick her up, let her enjoy watching TV etc..., and then when he is home, he can sort out reading with her and making sure she goes to bed on time etc... cooking won't make any difference whether she is there or not.
As for the rest, you need to make it very clear how you divide chores and looking after children. I think you also will need to be clear what the expectation will be when you go on maternity leave, which I expect will be shortly, and after the baby is born.
Is your DD in afterschool club when she is with her mum?
I agree on both of swings statements here. I think when you continue to extend your family with dp to some extent your DSD should be factored into that in some way. I don't see any issue in you collecting her from school to a degree when no doubt I'm guessing come September you will be doing the same for your DS with baby in tow. As you say your already collecting DS from nursery now so why can't you collect your DSD? The same with cooking meals your already doing it for your DS so it's not really extra doing it for DSD. I like swings suggestion of getting her DF to get her settled bath and bed routine and give you a break to rest. Step families and blending is never easy but it only works when there's a comprise on both sides. So is the issue collecting DSD or is the same issue with collecting DS aswell if that's the case could your dp not collect both DC one of the days and you could relax.
My ex's DW doesn't do any school runs inregards to DS when it's their day,if he's still at work I get him which I do find abit puzzling when they've extended their family to having children of their own then surely DS should be part of her life and regarded as the same as other DC in their household however ex will collect him later after work.
In polar opposite my DH would think nothing of collecting DS regardless he just sees them as one of the kids. I think you both need to sit down and discuss what role you want and what extent to avoid further resentment.
OP I so feel for you.
I am a SM to two DSC (age 12 and 10). I have been in their lives for 4 years now and I absolutely adore them, and I think they love me too. We have them with us every other weekend.
My DH and I have a DS 2.5 and we are also expecting our second in May.
DH works full time in a very stressful job with long hours. He earns very good money. I work 3 days a week and also earn good money (I only mention this because my income does also make a positive contribution to the household).
I can say that NEVER in our relationship has my DH taken my contribution to his childrens lives for granted. When I am able then I do help with school pick ups, feeding them etc.
I buy all the DSC clothes for them (partly because I am good at it and enjoy it), and everything else that is needed to be kept at our house (they aren't allowed to bring anything from their mum's house to ours).
I also plan, book and arrange all our family holidays always thinking of what DSC will most enjoy at their age. Again because I am good at this, and enjoy making things special for people I love.
When they are with us they are never treated as anything but 100% part of our family.
BUT - my DH still sees all of their logistics as entirely his problem. He thanks me profusely for every contribution I make, and whenever I say I cannot help, he has never once criticised or attacked me for not doing my bit. He finds another way to sort it out (I admit I am careful not to let any logistics 'problem' transfer to my shoulders - he is far too good at washing his hands if I let him).
But has certainly never said or implied that because I don't work the hours he does that makes me more responsible for issues related to his DC. He was solely responsible for all his time with them for three years before I appeared on the scene, and that has not changed.
My easier hours DO make me more responsible for everything related to our own DS, and preparing for our new baby. I do absolutely everything related to 'running' our son - and I am happy with that, and will do the same for our second child.
I think you are a goddess for everything you have done to date, but frankly things change. You are entering your 3rd trimester as am I (I am also 41 and bloody knackered). I just make it through the day doing my job, dealing with our son, preparing for baby, and managing our household and people who help us.
I have never seen it as my job to get heavily involved with the logistics or development of my DSC - and my DH has never asked or wanted me to either. In fact, as they see it I am the fun, cool one and DH is the grumpy strict one who bangs in about homework too much.
I suspect you have allowed yourself to be somewhat pigeonholed into a role which you are no longer comfortable with (and I entirely see why - your own workload at home is ever increasing). But just because you want to redistribute this load more evenly between you, does NOT mean you shouldn't be able to.
I hope you feel able to be tough on this, as when May arrives I worry how you will cope both mentally and physically.
for you OP.
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